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What is time code?
Video is made up of individual frames, just like film. In order for a video device to read them properly, they all need to have a unique number.

In most home video equipment, a simple, counter is used to keep everything straight. This counter can be reset and starts from whatever spot on the tape it is reset or the tape is inserted into the player. The counter time is created by the machine and is not recorded onto the actual tape. It's intended only to be a point of reference.

Time code is another type of counter. However, this information is actually recorded onto the tape and can't be reset. This means, unlike a standard counter, each frame always reads the same time even if the tape is removed from the player.

The advantage of time code over a standard counter is you always know where your footage is on the tape. By knowing what the time code is at the start of each shot, you can quickly cue to whatever footage you need - even if the tape isn't at the beginning.

A counter requires you to rewind the tape to the beginning each time you insert it so the counter can be reset to the same point.

In case you do need a resetable counter, such as when you need to find the length of a shot, time code also includes one. This way, you can switch back and forth between whichever time format you need.

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Some of the tips and advice may void your equipment or service warranty. When in doubt, consult your owners manual and/or seek professional assistance. does not recommend performing any task that may damage your equipment, void your warranty or violate applicable laws. Since laws vary, depending upon your location, check local regulations regarding any activities you choose to engage in.